Beyond the Size

Mastering the Art of Choosing the Right Size Area Rug

Area Rugs: Understanding Their Purpose and Standard Sizes

Adding an area rug to a room is an excellent way to enhance its visual appeal and provide some insulation and noise reduction. Area rugs have been used for centuries as a decorative floor covering in specific sections of a room to highlight or define a particular area.

In this article, we will explore what area rugs are, their differences from carpeting, and the standard sizes available. What Is an Area Rug?

An area rug is a decorative floor covering that can be placed on any flooring type. It is essential to note that an area rug differs from a carpet as the former covers a particular portion of the room while the latter covers the entire floor area.

Area rugs come in various styles, colors, and designs to suit the interior dcor of any room. They can be used to create a cozy and warm ambiance in living rooms, bedrooms, and other living spaces.

Besides aesthetics, area rugs provide insulation from cold floors and absorb sounds, making them perfect for apartments and multi-story homes.

Difference from Carpeting

As mentioned earlier, area rugs differ from carpeting because they cover a specific portion of the room, while carpeting covers the entire floor area. Carpets are made from thicker material and are less adaptable than area rugs, which come in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and materials.

Area rugs are more versatile, easier to move around, and suitable for use in any room. They can add a pop of color to a room, define specific areas, and even protect the floors beneath them.

Standard Sizes of Area Rugs

Area rugs come in various sizes, from small to large. The right size of an area rug is determined by the size of the room and the available space you want to cover.

The following are the standard sizes of area rugs available:

Small size: Measures 2-4 feet by 3-5 feet. It is ideal for hallways, entryways, or small living spaces.

Medium size: Measures 5-7 feet by 8-10 feet. It is suitable for most living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms, and can be used to emphasize the furniture arrangement in a room.

Large size: Measures 9-12 feet by 12-14 feet. It is perfect for large living spaces such as family rooms or living spaces with open floor plans.

Custom Sizes

Area rugs can be custom-made to fit any room or space. They are perfect for oddly shaped rooms, staircases, or to cover a particular area in a room.

Custom-made area rugs offer unlimited options in terms of design, material, color, and size, making them unique and exclusive to your space.

Benefits of Area Rugs

Apart from being decorative, area rugs offer some benefits to a room. By adding an area rug to your space, you can achieve the following:


Warmer and Cozier Atmosphere

One of the primary benefits of area rugs is that they provide insulation, making the room warmer and more comfortable. This is especially useful in cold weather or for houses with concrete floors, providing an additional layer of warmth.

2. Noise Reduction

Area rugs can absorb sounds and echoes, making them useful for multi-story homes or apartments.

They provide a quieter and more peaceful environment that allows you to focus and relax. 3.


Area rugs can protect beneath floors from scratches and damage caused by heavy furniture or foot traffic. This helps to reduce repair and replacement costs making them an excellent investment.


Area rugs are an essential addition to any home. They provide a warm, cozy, and decorative element to a room while protecting the floors underneath them.

Understanding the differences between area rugs and carpeting and the available sizes is crucial to choose the right one for your space. With the benefits they offer, area rugs are an excellent investment that enhances the ambiance and comfortability of your home.

Tips for Choosing an Area Rug Size

Choosing the right size area rug can make or break the look of a room. A rug that is too small makes the room appear disjointed, while a rug that is too large can overwhelm the space.

In this article, we will explore tips for choosing the right area rug size, including proportionality, leaving exposed flooring around the rug, extending the rug past furniture, and matching the dining table shape.


The size of your rug should be proportional to the room’s size and the furniture within the space. A small rug in a large room may make the room feel disconnected, while a large rug in a small room may make the space appear cramped.

To determine the right size of the rug for your room, you can use the following rule of thumb. Use a size chart to choose the size of your rug based on the room’s measurements.

Typically, small rooms need a 5′ x 8′ area rug, medium-sized rooms require an 8′ x 10′ area rug, and large spaces can accommodate a 9′ x 12′ area rug.

Leave Exposed Flooring Around the Area Rug

When placing an area rug, it is essential to leave visible flooring around it. This gives the rug a “framed” appearance and provides a sense of spaciousness to the room.

Experts suggest leaving a minimum of 18 inches of exposed flooring around the area rug. If your room is particularly large, you may choose to leave more flooring exposed.

For example, if you have a 9′ x 12′ rug in a 14′ x 18′ living room, consider leaving at least 24 inches of exposed flooring all around.

Extend Rug Past Furniture

Another way to determine the right size area rug is to factor in furniture placement. When placing your rug, consider extending it past the furniture.

This allows the rug to define the space and creates unity in the room. For example, in a living room, your sofa and chairs should ideally be sitting on the rug, with the rug extending at least 6 inches beyond the furniture, all around.

This creates a border around the seating area and allows for a cohesive flow.

Matching Dining Table Shape

In the dining room, consider the shape of your dining table when selecting the size of your area rug. The rug should be large enough to comfortably accommodate the table and all chairs, even when they are pulled out for seating.

It is essential to choose a rug shape that matches your table shape. For example, if you have a rectangular dining table, you should choose a rectangular area rug that has enough space to fit the chairs when they are pulled out from the table.

A round-shaped rug will pair best with a round dining table.


Selecting the right size area rug is crucial to achieving a harmonious look in any room. By using proportionality, leaving exposed flooring around the rug, extending the rug past furniture, and matching the dining table shape, you can enhance the visual appeal of any space.

Remember to take measurements carefully and to choose a rug that complements your furniture and the room’s overall style. With these tips, you can quickly and easily choose the perfect area rug for your home.

In conclusion, choosing the right size area rug for your space involves understanding proportionality, leaving exposed flooring around the rug, extending the rug past furniture, and matching the dining table shape. By following these tips, you can enhance the visual appeal of any room and create a cohesive and harmonious living space.

Here are some FAQs to address common questions or concerns that readers may have:

1. How do I choose the right size area rug for my room?

Choose a size chart based on your room’s measurements and consider proportionality and furniture placement when making your selection. 2.

How much exposed flooring should be visible around an area rug? It is recommended to leave at least 18 inches of exposed flooring around the area rug.

3. Should I extend my area rug past furniture?

Yes, it is recommended to extend your area rug at least 6 inches past your furniture to create a border around the seating area. 4.

How do I choose the shape of my area rug for a dining room? Choose a rug shape that matches your dining table shape – rectangular for a rectangular table and circular for a round table.

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